I thoroughly enjoyed this second novel – novella, really – by a founder of Wales Arts Review. With shades of The Talented Mr Ripley, it’s a dark, fast-paced literary thriller which centres on the fate of artist Francis Benthem who ostensibly created an enviable new life for himself, painting in Cyprus. But when he’s found dead, his former protégé, visiting the island to attend his funeral, gets himself thoroughly mixed up in its underworld after meeting a mysterious Russian benefactor, and caught up in the mystery of what happened to the Golden Orphans.
This review appeared in ‘Previewer’s Picks’ in The Bookseller Magazine in 2018 and gives an exciting taster of what could be expected in Raymond’s at that point still-anticipated thriller.
Our next event takes place on the 11th February 2019 and will be an exploration of the literary thriller genre. Cardiff author Gary Raymond will be in residence to discuss his new book, The Golden Orphans, alongside speakers Dr. Fiona Peters and Dr. Hannah Hamad.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
Gary Raymond’s The Golden Orphans (Parthian, £8.99) starts off in classic Brit abroad mode as a down-on-his-luck artist travels to Cyprus to attend the funeral of his mentor and fellow painter, Frances Bentham. The unnamed narrator takes on his teacher’s old job, working for a … Continue reading Jeff Noon reviews The Golden Orphans
Writing for the Wales Art Review in September 2018, Jim Perrin reviews Gary Raymond’s new novel, The Golden Orphans. Read the review here and whet your appetite in readiness for our next BookTalk event on 11th Feb. 2019!
Our November event exploring Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea and the author’s enduring legacy was one of our most popular yet, with almost 100 Le Guin readers and fans sharing in the discussion. If you weren’t able to make it (or if you … Continue reading A reader’s view: Check out this fantastic report from our recent event celebrating Ursula Le Guin
In September 2003, A Wizard of Earthsea was selected as Classic of the Month as part of the ‘Building a Children’s Library’ series run by The Guardian.
In celebration of the birthday of the Boy Who Lived, Caitlin Coxon reviews the final BookTalk event of the 2016/17 year, ‘Harry Potter – Twenty Years Later’.
A report from Caitlin Coxon upon our April event on the 2015 BBC series, Dickensian, featuring Ruth McElroy and Holly Furneaux in discussion.
Mendel’s Dwarf is an unusual piece. It’s a work of science fiction in the strict sense, but without any of the familiar traits of the genre. It is scientific literature in the literary sense but not the scholarly one; it’s a novel with footnotes that is in a hurry. Its narrator annotates his text with references because he is a scientist and that is how scientists write. But they do not write with the overtone of horror, and the unmistakable implication of looming disaster, that Simon Mawer sustains throughout his story.
It’s a brave writer who will take on Henry James, but John Harding’s publishers trumpet his debt to The Turn of the Screw. So Flora and Miles become Florence and Giles, and Bly House becomes Blithe House, a mansion set in New England in the 1890s. Fortunately, however, Harding rings enough ingenious changes on James’s study of perversity to produce his own full-blown Gothic horror tale.
Arnold laces her tale with a lively infusion of all things Lewis Carroll. Familiar images—a looking-glass; nursemaids and piglet-babies; puddles made of tears; cupboards and keyholes; Cheshire cats, walruses, dormice, oysters and caterpillars—pop up with a knowing wink and a nod. Merging 19th, 20th and 21st centuries with a distinctly measured approach, Arnold also draws on her experience as a contemporary childcare social worker, weaving a tapestry rich with imagination, madness and sadness. (At a particularly painful point in Daisy’s story, it comes with relief when a stalwart character, gentle with kindness, attempts to take charge: ‘Tell me again … but calmly this time, Daisy. So I can understand.’)